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captured ship. The Queen and Foudroyant soon lost sight of each other in a hard gale which ensued. The next day a large man of war appeared in sight of the Queen. The captain, Maitband, soon pursued; and after a chase of 14 hours came up in the night with the French ship. She received his broadside, reEurned hers, and then struck her colors. She proved to be the Actionare; and was a valuable prize, having a great quantity of naval ordnance stores on board, beside wine, rum, provisions, and several chests of money. Ten large transports and a schooner, beside the men of war, were taken. The bad weather obliged Barrington to finish his successful cruise by returning to Britain toward the close of the month.. i $ The naval force of France and Spain in the West-Indies, soon after the reduction of St. Kitts, amounted to go ships of the line; and their land forces when joined would have formed a considerable army. Jamaica had no more than six incomplete battalions of regular troops, and the militia of the island to detend it; and therefore in case of an attack must have been soon subdued. The arrival of Sir George Rodney (Feb. 19.) with 12 sail of the line at Barbadoes, and his subsequent junction with Sir Samuel Hood's squadron, together with the arrival of three ships of the line from Great-Britain a few days aftery was providentially designed for the preservation of Jamaica, i
The first object with Sir George Rodncy was to intercept the convoy that sailed from Brest in February; and which was do... signed to supply the failure of that which was attacked by ada. Kempenfelt. Rodney disposed of his capital ships in a line to the windward of the French islands, and formed a line of fri. gates still further to wiudward. But 'the French convoy, by making the island of Desiada to the northward, getting to the lees ward of the British fleet, and keeping close in under the land of Gaudaloupe and Dominique, had the address to escape the danger, and to arrive [March 20.] safe in Fort-Royal bay, where they found the count de Grasse. • Sir George Rodney, on finding himself disappointed, returned to St. Lucie; there to refit; take in a supply of water, stores and provisions; and keep a strict watch with his frigates on the move. ments of the French in Fort-Royal bay. The objects of the hostile commanders were not less opposite than their interests. It Was the business and design of de Grasse to avoid fighting, till he had formed a junction with the Spanish feet under Don Solano at Hispaniola. On the other side, the salvation of the West-Indies, with the whole fortune and hope of the war, depended, upon Rodney's preventing the junction, or bringing on a close and de
eisivé engagement with de Grasse before it took place. The British fleet at St. Lycie amounted to. 36 ships of the line: thoi force under de Grasse at Martinico to 34, beside two ships of the line arıned en fute; and two fifty-fours, the first were not, in either engagement;, and the last if present acted only as .. frigates. The French fleet, beside a full complement of seas s men, had 5500 land forces on board. The Ville de Paris, of 110 guns, de Grasse's own ship, carried not less than 1300 metsi including soldiers. The French 74's carried 900 men čachos Their metal is always heavier than that of the British, in equal : rates : but several of their ships were in very indifferent condie : tion. The British had five 90 gun ships, which was their high-1 est rate ; and the French bad eight of 84 and 80 guns each, be. » side the Ville de Paris. The comparative, balance of the force on both sides was tolerably even ; and contending fleets do nos often meet upon more equal terms. The van of the British was commanded by Sir Samuel Hood, the centre by Sir George Rodney, and the rear by adm. Francis Drake. The three divii. : sions of the French fleet were under count de Grasse, Mons. da... Vandreuil, and Mons. de Bougainville... !!!,', ) · The French fleet began [April 8,] to turn out of Fort-Royal harbor by break of day, with a great convoy under their protecy, i tion, all bound to the leeward, and intending to fall down to i the French or Spapish ports in Hispaniola, De Grasse, that he might avoid any encounter on his passage, nieant to keep close; in under the islands, till he had eluded the pursuit of the Britisha But their departure from the Bay, and movements, were so speed dily communicated by signals from the frigates, and the Britisha flect was in such excellent preparation, that all the ships were clear of Gross Islet Bay by noon, and pursued with the utmost exper dition; so that the French saved only a few hours, by being masters of the time of departure. The British gained sight of 11 them under Dominique at night; and afterward regulated they pursuit by signals.
Count de Grasse formed the line of battle to windward early the-pext morning; and thereby afforded an opportunity to his cont; voy for proceeding on their course, while he remained to abide the consequences. While the count had wind enough for thesex? movements by being further advanced toward Gaudaloupe, the British fleet lay becalmed under the high-lands-of Dominique, The breeze at length reached the van of the latter; and the ships began to close with the French centre, while their own centre and rear were still becalmed. If de Grasse could haver ! avoided an engagement, it must be thought that the prospect of:.
1 falling with his whole weight upon and entirely crushing' one
third of his enemy's force, was too tempting to be resisted. The El action commenced £9th.] about 9 o'clock. The attack was led i by the Royal Oak, and seconded by the Alfred and the Mon
tague. The whole division was in a few minutes closely engaged, £ and for more than an hour was exceedingly pressed by the sun a periority of the French. The Barfleuer, Sir S. Hood's own ship, : had at times seven, and generally three ships firing upon her; E none of the division escaped encountering a disproportionate
force. The firm and effectual-resistance with which they suse tained all the efforts of the enemy's superiority, was to the high
est degree glorious. At length the leading ships of the centre, .: were enabled to come up to their assistance. These were soon
followed by Sir G. Rodney, in the Formidable, with his seconds 1 the Namur and the Duke,all of 90 guns; they made and support. ; ed a most tremendous fire. The gallantry of a French captain
of a 74 gav ship in the rear, who having backed his main top1 sail, steadily received and bravely returned the fire of these 3 great
ships in succession, without in the least changing his station, excited the applause and admiration of his enemies. The com. ing up of these several ships of the centre division, induced the French commander to change the nature of the action, that so it might not become decisive. He kept at such a distance during
the remainder of the engagement, as evidenced an intention of i disabling the British ships without any considerable hazard on his
own side. This kind of bring produced as much effect as the
distance would admit, and was well supported by both parties for hane hour and three-quarters longer; during all which time the
rest of the British fleet was held back by the calnis and bafiling winds under Dominique, About twelve o'clock the remaining ships of the British centre came up, and the rear was closing the line; on which de Grasse withdrew his fleet from the action, and evaded all the efforts of the British commanders for its renewal.
The French ships received much, more damage than their own i fire produced. Two of them were obliged to quit the fleet and
put into Guadaloupe, which reduced the count's line to 32 ships. On the British sides the Royal Oak and the Montague suffered extremely, but were capable of being repaired at sea, so as not to be under the necessity of quitting the fleet. . .
The British feet lay too at night to repair damages; and the following day was principally spent in refitting, in keeping the , wind; and in transposing the rear and the van, as the former (not
baving been engaged) was pecessarily fitter for the active service of that division. Both fiscts-kept turning up to windward, in
the channel which separates the islands of Doninique and Guk: daloupe. * On the 11th the French had weathered Guadaloupe, and gained such a distance that the body of their fleet could only be descried from the inast heads of the British centre; and all hope of Sir G. Rodney's coming up with them, seemed to be at an end. In this critical state of things, one of the French ships, which had suffered in the action, was perceived, about noon, to fall off considerably from the rest of the fleet, to leeward. This sight produced signals from the British admiral for a generat chace, which was so vigorous that the Agamemnon and some others of the headmost of the British line, were coming up so fast with this ship, that she would assuredly have been cut off before evening, had not her signals and evident danger induced de Grasse to bear down with his whole fleet to her assistånde. This niovement made it impossible for the French to avoid fight ing. The pursuing British ships fell back into their station; a close line was formed; and such manæuvres practised in the night, as were 'necessary to preserve things in their present state, and as might possibly produce casual 'advantage. The French also prepared for battle with the greatest resolution. .. 72,73
The scene of action lay between the islands of Guadaloupe, Dominique, the Saints and Marigalante; and was bounded both to windward and leeward by dangerous shores. The hostile fleets met upon opposite tacks. The battle 'commenced (April 12.] about seven o'clock in the morning, and was continued with unremitting fury until near the same hour in the evening. Ad. - miral Drake's división led, and with much gallantry received and returned the fire of the whole French line; whose guns were pointed so little to the hulls, or so illy served, that Drake's lead ing ship the Marlborough, had only three men killed and sixteeni wounded by receiving the first fire of twenty-three of their ships. The British as they came 'up, ranged slowly along the French line, and close under their lee. Being so near, every shot took effect; and the French ships being so full of men, the cárnage in them was prodigious. The Formidable, admiral Rodney's ship, fired near 80 broadsides, and it may be thought she was not singular. The French stood and returned this dreadful fire with the utmost firmness. Each side fought as if the honor and fate of their country were staked on the issue of the day. :-*.153
Between twelve and one, Sir G. Rodney, in the Formidable, with his seconds, the Namur and the Duke, and immediately 'supported by the Canada, bore directly and with full sail athwart this French line, and successfully broke througir, à bout three ships
atre, where wed and soseupon.
short of the centre, where count de Grasse commanded in the Ville de Paris. Being followed and supported by the remainder of, his division, and waring round close upon.the enemy, he ef. lectually separated their line. This bold push proved decisive. The French however, continued to fight with the utmost bra. yery, and the battle lasted till sun-set. . .
The moment that Rodney wore, he threw out a signal for the van to tack. Drake instantly complied; and thus the British Heet gained the wind of the French, and completed their general confusion, Their yan endeavored to re-establish the line, but with no success; and their rear was so entirely routed, that no hope remained of recovering its order, Hood's division had been long eccalmed and kept out of actions, but his leading ships and part of his centre, as far at least as the Barfleur.,, which he commanded himself, came up at this juncture and served to render the victory more decisive on the one side, and the ruin greater on the other, while each afforded instances of the utmost courage. ...
Captain Inglefield, in the Centaur,, of 74 guns, came up froin the rear, to the attack of the Cæsar, of 74 also. Both ships were fresh, and fought bravely; but when the French captain had evidently by far the worst of the combat, he disdained yielding Three other ships.came up successively; and he bore to be torn ålmost to pieces by their fire. His fortitude was inflexible. His ensign staff being shot away, he ordered his colours to be nailed to the mast;, and his death only could end the contest.. When the Cæsax struck the mast went overboard, and there was not a foot of canvas withoạt a shot hole. The captain of the Glorieux, did not yield till all his masts were shot away, and the ship was, unable to make any defence. Captain Cornwallis, in the Canada of 74 guns, vanquished the French Hector of the same force but instead of taking possession of her, left her to be picked up by a frigate, and pushed on to the Ville de Paris. in 1
Count de Grasse was nobly supported, even after the line was broken, and until the disorder and confusion became irreparable.. toward the evening. His two seconds, the Languedoc and Cous, ronne, were particularly distinguished ;. the former narrowly es. caped being taken in her last efforts to extricate himn.. The Di aden, a French 74,,went down by a single broadside, in a genc: rpus exertion to save him. His ship, the Ville de Paris, after being already much battered, was closely, laid athwart by the Canary da, and in a desperate action of near two hours, was reduced almost to a wreck. De Grasse appeared to prefer sinking, rather than, strike to any thing under a flag; he might however, consider the fatal effects which the striking of his flag would produce in bei